For radiologists, clinical context is critical for making the best diagnoses and care recommendations. This often means assessing changes over time using previous studies. But when patients move among a region’s hospitals and physician groups, with imaging performed by multiple organizations and stored at multiple sites, access to previous studies may be difficult to achieve. So Greensboro Radiology, with 63 providers serving 10 hospitals and more than 30 physician practices in central North Carolina, took a regional approach to solving this problem.
Creating a Regional Imaging Timeline
“We engaged our hospital partners, and clinicians who do imaging in their own offices, in a conversation about pulling all of the imaging together to create a regional timeline for patients as they move around the area,” said Dr. Eric Mansell, President, Greensboro Radiology. Sharing imaging studies across the region made sense to all participants for its contribution to better care for each patient, and to lowering costs by eliminating unnecessary duplication of studies. The trick was finding the best technology to bring everything together into a single, efficient workflow for Greensboro’s radiologists, and for easily returning results to referring physicians despite their use of different electronic health record systems.
HealthShare Turns Many Sources into a Single Workflow
With agreement among the region’s providers, Greensboro engaged the services of Canopy Partners to design and implement a system using the InterSystems HealthShare platform. With HealthShare at its core the system accepts incoming data, such as orders and demographics from referring facilities, and transforms it into a common format for populating Greensboro’s internal applications. Regardless of the data source, the radiologists read studies and access related information through a single set of core software systems, such as PACS, voice recognition, and radiology information system.
Stephen Willis, Chief Technology Officer of Canopy Partners, noted that, “Having a single set of exam codes and other normalized data attributes feeding into clinical systems allows us to create very specific worklists and templates. This greatly improves radiologist efficiency and allows physicians to do what they do best, practice medicine, while keeping the administrative duties to a minimum.”
Higher-Value Service, Better Patient Care, Business Growth
Gains in efficiency from the Canopy-created system have been important, and key to growth of Greensboro Radiology’s business. But Dr. Mansell noted that, “More important for sustainability, and to keep us relevant and integral to healthcare enterprises, it has allowed us to be better radiologists, to provide a higher level of imaging value to our hospital partners that are taking care of the patients in our region.”